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Google Seeks CCI Approval to Buy Stake in Jio

Mukesh Ambani, MD of Reliance Industries Ltd

Google, an internet tech giant, has sought approval from CCI, Competition Commission of India (1), its antitrust watchdog. It has filed for its 33,737 Crore INR investment in Jio Platforms. Notably, the fund would give Google a 7.73% stake in the company.

According to the CCI filing, the giant is investing via Google International LLC, the Google LLC subsidiary. In comparison, Jio Platforms is a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited. The application mentions that the tech firm is investing in Jio Platforms to manufacture a smartphone in India.

The filing read that the proposed transaction would enable both firms to develop and launch a new smartphone in the country. Hence, both parties consider that India’s mobile phone supply market is the only relevant market to assess the deal’s horizontal effects. It added that outside the settlement, Google and Jio Platforms would continue to manage their businesses independently.

Google and Jio Platforms to Develop Android Smartphone System

Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries, had announced at the 43rd AGM, Annual General Meeting of Reliance, about the deal. He stated that the tech giant would invest 33,737 Crore INR, or 4.5 Billion USD, for a 7.73% stake in Jio Platforms, the Reliance’ digital venture.

The tech giant’s investment in Jio is its first and most prominent investment in India via its India Digitisation Fund worth 10 billion USD. It added that the move would help India to unleash its digital economy potential.

During the Annual General Meeting, Ambani announced that Google and Jio Platforms would develop a smartphone OS based on Android. It would have the potential to power, entry-level 4G, or 5G value-engineered smartphone. The development aims to create “2G Mukt Bharat.”

As per reports, both firms could launch a low-cost 4G smartphone in India by the end of 2020 or early next year. There are plans to manufacture over 100 million such mobile phones India bundled with Jio data packs.